Today is one of those days that I just cannot help but smile while doing morning homestead chores! For right now our homestead consists of ten goats and over 40 chickens. Oh, and a dog, five cats, and 8 children ;) For the last few weeks we have had bone chilling weather (we've seen real feel temps in the negative thirties!) and around six inches of snow on the ground. This has led to the goats staying in their barns and the chickens in their coop for the most part. But today, even first thing this morning, we were above freezing!!! My window is open and today we will be doing some "Spring cleaning."
After milking our three does in milk, they went out and joined the five doelings in their field. Waiting for the garden to be prepared are two large piles of old bedding that is decomposing. The goats decided they are perfect for playing "queen of the hill." Then they started running and frolicking through the field, kicking up their heels and "maaa-ing" at me, as I watched. Here soon I will be drying up one of our does in milk in order for her to nourish the little one(s) she is carrying. Our three milkers are all bred and at least one of our older doelings. Looking forward to the sweet babies in the not-so-distant future. Our first is due the end of March! In a nearby pen, the boys (a buck and buckling) tried to entice the girls. They too seem excited to be able to run without the worry of the wind cutting right through them.
With the goats milked, their feeders filled, and fresh water in their buckets, the boys and I headed over to the chicken coop. During the warmer months, the chickens free range in chicken tractors, but in the winter they go in the static coop. With all the snow and bitter cold, the chickens have stayed inside rather than venturing out into their run. Not today! Today they were strutting their stuff out in the run, scratching for any seed they may find (and I'm sure searching for the rare bug) with our two roosters informing the world what a gorgeous day we have been blessed with, by God! We gathered the few eggs they left us (we do not use any artificial lighting), filled their feeders and waterers, and then put a couple more bags of shavings down. To help keep the chickens warm and healthy, we are using the deep bedding method this year. We will see how it goes!
Once the animals were done, it was time to head inside and take care of all the children's schooling. Fridays are lighter days for school (unless the children get behind), as it is also a cleaning day for us! On the way, I stopped by the area for my garden. Much of it is still covered in snow, but areas closer to the foundation have begun to melt. We still have a handful of carrots growing (how in the world they are surviving I don't know!) and there is also garlic. We planted four pounds of garlic cloves this past Fall in hopes of a decent crop. It is our first time trying that here, and our first attempt with hardneck garlic varieties.
And this is my life <3 -="" a="" all="" and="" are="" at="" being="" beyond="" br="" but="" fun="" giggles="" golly="" grand="" home="" homesteading="" is="" it="" kicks="" like="" measure="" mom...="" monotonous...="" much="" nbsp="" no="" of="" oh="" rewards="" stay="" the="" yes="">3>